Travato Trails and Tails

Damon Bungard goes cross country. . .and backcountry

Damon Bungard  |  07.28.2015

It’s always good to start a relationship with a good introduction, so as we enter the Winnebago Travato family, we thought it would be good to start with one. I’m Damon Bungard, Product Manager for Jackson Kayak, and Brand Manager for our new line of premium coolers, Orion Coolers. We make premium whitewater, kayak fishing, and recreational kayaks, and also premium coolers for the hunting and fishing markets. Our brands are known for innovation, performance, craftsmanship, and Made in Tennessee.

I’m also personally very active outdoors, hunting, fly fishing, paddling, and generally a born traveler. My wife Ashley and I , and our dog Tripper, live near our factory in Tennessee, in a small rural area near Fall Creek Falls State Park. My wife Ashley is a test engineering project lead for an aerospace company in Vermont, and she works from our home in TN. Our dog Tripper, a mini-dachshund, is 10-lbs of fury – kayaking, fishing, grasshopper hunting, sprinkler killing, and generally doing whatever we’re doing fury.DCIM103GOPROTripper barks his approval at a hefty Colorado trout.

DCIM101GOPRONose to gill.  Tripper meets an Idaho rainbow.  Who says Daschunds don’t like water? 

I travel quite a bit for work, or fun outside, and have been very fortunate to have my passions in the outdoors carry me all over the globe, see amazing places, and meet amazing people. The Travato appealed to us as a mobile ‘base-camp’, mobile office for Ashley, and a great tool to let us travel and work, and share experiences, together.

Coming from a Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia, we still wanted something very compact, but with the full functionality the Travato provides – full bed, functional bath/shower, kitchen, fridge, water systems, table/work desk area, good gas mileage, and internal and external gear storage options. Being able to buckle in while seated at the desk allows Ashley to safely work while I drive, without using her valuable vacation time. Once at camp, the integrated awning system and outdoor utility of external lights, speakers, and propane ports also make open-air camp life easy and comfortable.

DCIM136GOPROTime off for lunch in Key West, Florida.

IMG_1674Maiden voyage of the Travato as it heads off from Tennessee to Arkansas.

So here we find ourselves, RV-rookies, getting to know our new Travato. We’ll be sharing what we learn – all the funny mistakes, successes, and lessons learned of somebody new to the RV life. We’ll share adventures from the destinations we love, outdoor equipment that works well in both the Travato and on the river or trail, healthy recipes that we like, and certainly a fishing or hunting tale or two.

IMG_1749The Travato’s first streamside stop at White River Arkansas yields a hefty brown trout.  (Size of catch and mileage may vary!)

IMG_1873Wrap ‘n Roll.  The Travato points to new adventures.

We’re really excited to see what trails lie before us. With the Travato as our travel companion, we should be ready to take the necessary turns in the road to get us there.

Buckle up, this should be a fun ride.


Outdoor adventurer Damon Bungard will continue to report to GoLife from his Travato.  To see some of his past stories, you can follow his blog on Jackson Kayak and Orion Coolers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASafer at a distance. Damon sizes up a brown bear print in Alaska.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 1.58.28 PM - Version 2Roof rack. A successful caribou hunt in the Brooks Range in Alaska.



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  1. Bill Posted on 10.03.2015

    I would also like to know how you get the kayaks on and off the roof. I have a Travato with the rack and cannot find a hoist or other solution.

  2. Eric Posted on 08.28.2015

    I’d like to see how you get the kayaks on or off the roof.

  3. Sean Overby Posted on 08.16.2015

    Very interested in seeing how the Travato works as an RV. Not at all interested in seeing some dude cart around a bloody animal head.